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WATCH: Mycroft, the Switzerland of Smart Speakers

Check out this open-source, voice-controlled alternative to the Amazon Echo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mycroft is readying an open-source smart speaker that it said is both more flexible and more privacy-minded than an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod.

The Mark II may also be a smart choice for retailers in the business of selling the smart home, according to Mycroft CEO Joshua Montgomery. Montgomery noted in a recent interview with TWICE that the company has no intention of “climbing into the same business as our distributors.”

[Related: “Smart Speakers Are a Key Gift Trend for 2017“]

“Nothing is more self-destructive to a retail business than having an endcap display that has Amazon Echos on it,” he said. “The Echo is a Trojan horse to make it easier to buy items from Amazon. …. Once you sell it their customer, your customer becomes their customer.”

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